Wednesday, September 28, 2016

just letting you know............

okay sports fans. It's a done deal. The bite I encountered this summer was in fact a Black Widow Spider bite. Did you know that the BW bite is more venomous than that of a rattlesnake? Who knew?
As much as I hate spraying for "bugs", we did have an exterminator come and spray the front yard for these critters
Did you know they can administer a blood test that checks the level of venom titer in your blood? Neither did I. If the titer is high after a prolonged period since the bite, then your body hasn't been able to get rid of the venom. That is exactly my deal.  Lucky ducky me.

I mean that sincerely, because I now know that I have a severe magnesium deficiency initiated by the poison from the bite (and the compilation of all the other bites as well as my diminished immune function) and that may be the cause of my body's lymph system not being able to process the poison out of my system and explains my brain fog, lethargy, swelling and pain. Ta dah.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you had a belly ache and your mom gave you Milk of Magnesia. It always cleaned out your plumbing, right? Well magnesium taken orally will do the same thing and that's not a good thing. It actually strips your bowels of the good fauna from "cleaning the plumbing". I found this out the hard way a few months back when I was researching and read my symptoms in an article about magnesium deficiency. So I took OTC pills. Not a good idea.

But do you see that my mind/body thinking were in line with what was/is wrong with me? My body was telling me what I needed. I may have mistakenly gone about curing myself with the wrong type of magnesium but none the less, I'm not such a goofy old broad after all.

Now it's probiotics, magnesium oil (which can be rubbed on or sprayed on my skin), massage and a combination of essential oils that help reduce the swelling and help me heal from this misadventure. My lymph system needs a boost. I was also told I needed to be on steroids to help my body heal but that in and of itself has caused so many other difficulties when I have ingested steroids in the past that I am not following that advice. But then I have always been and will always be a rebel without a clue.

I'm hopeful and see some changes to my difficulties already. Within 24 hours of using the magnesium spray I have reduced swelling and decreased pain in my joints. Within 2 hours of the lavender, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, and ginger in coconut oil rub, my "cankles" where reduced and my feet looked almost like human feet instead of elephant feet.

I found out that I am allergic to black widow spider bites, wasp stings, red ant bites and mosquito bites as well. A bee sting might just do me in as well.

I never really thought about it very much. When I was younger I got bitten by a black widow and it knocked me on my butt. I remember my Mom saying she thought I was having a heart attack.Took a benadryl and I was better. When I was stung by wasps while sweeping on our back porch when Shelley was in high school, I was very sick with what I thought was the flu afterwards. Mosquitos bites have always produced huge welts on my body compared to my families "bug bite" size sites of puncture. And a couple of years ago I got bit while standing nearby a hill of red ants while we were out to an event and then I couldn't walk for a few days because of the swelling in my ankles and feet. But I never put all of those incidences together as a whole or as a cause for concern when combined.

With the help of the blood test, I know know that I need to be careful not to put myself into a situation where the creepy crawlers might have access to me. My immune system is already so compromised because of my Mother's fascination with our family physician and all the antibiotic shots that I received as a child, and my unlucky encounters with many poisonous critters (I never thought of spiders, bugs and flying things as more than just an annoyance) that another one of these events and I could be in even more trouble, health wise.

So here's to fast action next time, taking care of me right now and not just thinking that I am invincible anymore and must be careful. Not only that but I need to pay attention to my surroundings.

Thanks so much for the well wishes, advice and love sent my way.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, September 19, 2016

What a spider bite can do to ya.............

Back in late June, I was putting up some 4th of July decorations in my front yard. I had finished most of the inside decos, got antsy and wanted to put the flower arrangements in the holders on the house. So I finished the one under my bedroom window and took the other to the matching panel and shutters on the other "leg" of my ranch house, which is under the garage window.

As I finished messing with the flowers and bows, to my satisfaction, I felt a sting on my right outer, lower leg. Didn't stop to swat anything away. I just put the box for the 4th of July decos back in the garage, looked through some other stuff  and then finally came inside.

By the time I got in the house my leg was burning and I felt sick to my stomach. I sat down on the couch and inspected my leg. Sure enough there was a bulls eye blister and swelling that accompanies a spider bite. I suspect it was a black widow because I have seen them around the side of the house but I only touched the Mexican Horsetail grass to get to the flower holders.

When Ry got his spider bite back last spring, which I realize now wasn't like mine, I immediately milked the area, washed it down with benadryl liquid and gave him a benadryl orally and applied ice. He didn't even have a reaction to the poison. Me on the other hand, well, if I wasn't such a stubborn old batt, I'd have gone to the emergency room right then but nooooooooooooooooooooooo, I took care of it myself. It took six weeks for the "wound" to heal. The skin just sort of peeled away, bit by bit.

Little did I realize that I would be affected in other ways from something so simple. My whole immune system went kinda loopy. I developed a rash in several places all over my body. Then my face looked like I was having an attack of roscasea and I looked like the walking dead. I even scared a poor little kid in the grocery store. My energy level bottomed out and I was a mess for part of the summer.

And last Friday, 11 weeks later, I had severe muscle atrophy in my right leg and couldn't raise my leg to get in the car while GK and I were out shopping. I did feel some better on Sat but Sunday I returned to the same lethargy that I had last summer.

I went to the chiropractor this morning because I thought maybe he could help my leg function with an adjustment of my spine.

As we were talking, he asked if I had been in an accident, had food poisoning or had gotten stung by a bee or wasp. I said no and then told him about the spider bite. He pulls out this medical journal that talked about the long term affects of bee, wasp or spider bites. And wouldn't ya know that I have all the signs and symptoms, even the prolonged affects. He suggested several things I can do until I get in to see my Dr.

I called the Dr's office as soon as I got home. Yep, her next available is Jan 5. So I am going to a private urgent care facility as soon as someone gets home that can raise their feet up to use the brake and accelerator pedals in the car. I really should not have driven myself earlier because I had to back myself into the car to begin with and then couldn't have slammed on the brakes if a situation were to have arisen because that function does not happen with my inability to raise my right foot.

Oh hell's bells ya'll. I'm home safe and able to lift my foot a whopping 2 inches off the floor now. Can't go to bed, can't raise my leg to get in there so I'll just sit and see what the computer has to offer.

See, you knew I couldn't go a week without some sort of complaint. Sheesh. But I'm not in a bad mood...............................yet.

Smooches and Squoozes,

Oma Linda

Friday, September 16, 2016

I'll sneak this one in on you...................

Tonight is the Harvest Moon. There will also be an eclipse of the moon as the Earth's shadow falls across the face of the moon. This is a harbinger of changes in all our lives.

photo by Dan Bush
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we call the closest full moon to the autumn equinox the Harvest Moon. In 2016, the September equinox comes on September 22. So this hemisphere’s Harvest Moon is the full moon of September 16. It happens to be an especially close and large full moon … a supermoon? There’s disagreement on that, but we can all agree that this particular Harvest Moon looks especially bright. Plus this Harvest Moon stages a subtle penumbral eclipse on the night of September 16-17, visible from half of Earth, but unfortunately not North America.

Last night we went outside as a troop of Cuckoos to celebrate the full moon, just a little bit early, because the younger Cuckoos have another engagement. We didn't want to miss out on singing down the moon as is our custom and ritual every full moon.

As we finished up our song to the moon and greeting to a new turn of the wheel. Sweet Man who is usually the very epitome of a man in his early 60's and a bit stoic, proceeded to bring change into our ritual by giving the Cuckoos a view of his full moon.

I haven't been surprised by that old coot in a very long time, but I laughed until my sides hurt. Ry and GK were in shock and awed by his full moon antics. Shelley just said she hoped that the neighbors weren't looking out their windows at the nutz that live at our house.

Smooches and Squoozes,

and they danced by the light of the moon, tee hee

Oma Linda

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The summer catch up..............

So much to tell you.

The time from early May, GK's birthday to mid September just zipped past me so fast. Not that I wasn't happy to see them off to school, because I am a real person, after all. I can't believe another summer has come and gone. I hate the heat but I love my time with my grands. This summer was no different......but it was.

I should talk about the grands individually here so that you can see the agony and the ecstasy individually.

Ry has had a very eventful summer. He went to his last year of Therapeutic Recreation through the city of Albuq. Next year if he decides to go he will have to join the teen program. He didn't not have a good time but his hormones and ego (thank the Goddess he finally has one) got the better of him.

We spent lots of lazy days just enjoying the air conditioning and talking about life. His, mine, other people's, I learned a lot, I hope he did too. His mental age has almost caught up with his chronological age and he is feeling the "becoming a teenager" (damn it), with all it's accompanying hurts and bruises. Actually played outside with the neighborhood kids without having to have one of us adult Cuckoos out there to watch and make sure nothing bad happened. Had a trail of little girls calling his name as he strutted by and a covey of boys to become cohorts and chums. His best friend's sister was his kinda summer crush and she liked him back. Summer was good for him, mostly.

He once again was a spokesperson for a charity that benefits children with autism, the Holman Foundation. Gave a speech at the golf tournament and again at the gala for the charity. He is getting to be quite the ambassador for autism. The confidence he has gained from having this opportunity is enormous in his daily life. It's a win/win situation. The folks at Holman love to have him be a spokesperson for them so that they can raise money to provide electronic aids for classrooms for autistic and other special needs children and Ry gets to have the knowledge that he is helping someone else.

GK is 16, is driving, gorgeous, smart as a whip (which I know she would use on someone if we had one) and always a hoot. I could just stop there but that wouldn't be anything new for me to share with you.

Her face changed so much this summer and so did her lovely physique. If I had looked like her when I was her age............oh my.

It took hours of sleep to get through the grueling Oma jobs I had she and her best friend do for me this summer, so our days didn't start until noon. I remember at that age being that tired and a tad bit lazy too. But what the hell people, what's an Oma for if not to let you be a bum and have no one fussing at you, right?

They moved entire rooms around for me. Made my craft area into the pantry and brought all the groceries and dry goods into the house from the former pantry in the garage. Of course now all of my crafting crapee is in the garage wondering, why it is that I don't love it anymore but that is a whole other story.

She and her friend were so much fun to be with, listen to and laugh at. Teenagers, you can't shoot them and there is no cure for their insanity. The house was filled with laughter and bizarre conversations. I truly think Ry and I both were healed by some of the discussions. Family sometimes can be the best medicine when applied by the younger members of the tribe.

GK also was part of the Holman events, was moral support for her brother as always and also spoke eloquently about being a sibling of a child with autism. The folks at Holman are looking into helping her with some of her college expenses because of her dedication.

The worst part of the summer was watching both the grands maneuver through personal issues with friends. Also both have had some pretty intense flashbacks from when they were very young. That king of thing just never goes away. It can only be made less powerful. GK lost 2 long time friends, a girlfriend who dropped out of high school and her boy best friend date to all of those dances, who she never thought would change and Ry finally found some friends but then lost them. Life is so hard when you have had a limited number heartaches or heartbreaks. Both learned things they wish they hadn't had to learn.

Both grands have a better vision of what is fair, cuz life isn't. Both are more knowledgeable about the less than trustworthiness or believability of other humans, even if they have sworn friendship. But the flip side of that ugliness is that they both trusted me enough to share those things with me. They also went through a healing process and are on the good side of that. We cried together and found comfort under the air conditioning with scary movies and hugs.

I am blessed to be experiencing this part of their lives with them, close up and personal. I am privileged to "know their hearts" and for them to trust me with those pieces of life that are a bit off colored and tear stained.

I went from being a sad old lady with too much of myself to worry about to Omie (new transmutation of my name) who is in the thick of their mess and have come out on the other side of my selfish, self centered mania to a really bright light, whose names are Ry and GK.

I'll say it once again, I am blessed.

The next chapter of life with the grands involves our end of summer soiree. We are having a Zombie Luau here at Casa de Cuckoo next Saturday. This idea was born by thinking about having a luau (leaving the sadness behind) and then doing research into luau's by looking at the tiki heads and totempoles and having the thought that they looked like polynesian zombies (thanks Ry). So there you have it, Zombies and a luau.........who would have thunked it. We did.

Celebrate whatever you can, it brings smiles and that is life's tonic for feeling better.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oh my stars......................

Hello lovelies. How are each of you? "Healthy, wealthy and wise", I trust.

photo by Aaron J. Grohn
It has been a while since I came to you, and gave you part of me. I have no excuses nor shall I invent any. I just am happy to be here with you and to wish you, Good Day.

I have had such a wonderfully educational past few months. I have learned some valuable lessons in so many different avenues of life. I have made strides to take charge of me. And I have had fun and some tears, along the way. My life isn't much different than yours, I would guess. We share that essences of life as humans, but as my favorite uncle Alfonso used to say, "why bitch about life when not one else has suffered more or less than you and just understands when you say, your hanging in there?" If you are noticing a marked lessening of the sarcastic edge to this old bagg, well then you see the rough edges have been polished down with some very intense elbow grease. Oh I still speak fluent sarcasm, it's just I am in such a happy place that the smart assiness seems out of place.

I am blessed. Now if you had told me a few months ago that I would once again be level headed and able to see reality for what it is, I would have probably spun my head around spewing green pea soup and said, oh hah, but I am back to being, knock on wood, okay.

This has truly been the hardest journey, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually,  I have ever been on. Lost the map a couple of times, mislaid my glasses and couldn't see where I was going, metaphorically, but here at this rest stop, at this blessed moment in time,
I am on the correct road and all is well with my soul.

I don't like to make promises and then not be able to keep them, but I would like to say that I am going to try to share what is happening here at Casa de Cuckoo, with the minor and major players in the lovely soap opera we call house and home. I hope you'll still be out there cheering us on and that you'll let us know how you are doing.

So until next time, later this week, road map willing and the creek don't rise,

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Gerea the terror, the bipolar troll.....................................

So small, so vulnerable and my first grandchild. 16 years ago today GereaKaye came into this world and I instantly knew I had known her before. Up to that moment, I had never experienced anything like it. Her sweet, deep root beer colored eyes held for me a knowing of a before time.

That hasn't changed in the past 16 years. Our relationship really isn't fair to anyone else on the planet. We are a bonded pair of smart ass partners in crime separated by a mere 51 years (this time around).

She is becoming the woman I always suspected she would become. Kind, caring, fierce, challenging and captivating the hearts and minds of may other mere mortals. To say I admire her is a gross understatement. To say I envy her is the truth.

I truly do not love her more than any other member of the Cuckoos but I understand her better, relate to her easier and allow myself the luxury of complete and utter abandon when I am with her. She is one funny bunny, makes me laugh like no one else can, makes me cry deeper than anyone else can.

When she was little heathen, I would take her shopping so that I could do some walking and she could experience people. Folks would hear us conversing aisles away and come around and be flabbergasted that she was so young. They commented more than once that she looked like a faery or elfling. She always had something to say to everyone....albeit baby talk. She had good judgement about people even then.

On one occasion when she was about 14 months old, we visited our local "woo woo" shop to get some incense. The woman who ran the shoppe stopped what she was doing to come and greet GK and me. I began my search for "dirty dreaded hippie incense" when the woman and Gerea began a full fledged conversation indicating that they too had know each other before, the now. It was one of those goose flesh kinda moments. That has happened so many times in her short 16 years. Speaking to the dead, knowing when something is going to happen, not trusting something and leaving a situation and sure enough something ugly has always happened. The way in which she engages with animals, children, old people and the lonely.

Today is not only her birthday but her favorite school activity, the talent show. She will be singing At Last, the Etta James rendition. Talk about old school. She is so in love with the music from that era.

Compassion, conviction and cunning. Yep and she's only 16.

Happy Birthday dearest granddaughter, thank you for sharing yourself so effortlessly with the world.

Friday, April 8, 2016

getting down the road........step by step

Update of sorts.

I haven't blogged in 6 weeks. During that time life has been busy, interesting and I've traveled the road less traveled. Albeit in my head. I've done some soul searching, some introspective meditation, spent time with the family and not letting things get me down. It's not a perfect solution but what is really?

Many thanks for all the well wishes. I appreciate all your good thoughts and kind messages. I have come to a spot in the road that tells me I can choose to be happy or I can keep sitting and spinning. I choose to be happy. If I never meet someone else's expectations, so be it. I will keep true to me and be happy with my choices. Not to say I don't care, because I do care, but about me first at this time in my life. Gone are the days of mindlessly giving my time, joy and energy away. Here are the sunny days of feeling good and fulfilled.

"Bliss" the kitty has had a name change. Not that she isn't the sweetest kitten in the whole wide world to me, but "Bliss" was my hope, not her reality. She wouldn't even answer to that name. While watching a Netflix show I heart the name "Niamh". It made me shiver. And this old witch knows when something is knocking at my door with wisdom so I looked it up on our pal Google.

Niamh - Goddess of Beauty and Brightness.

Niamh is the Goddess of Beauty and Brightness. She is the daughter of Manannán mac Lir, one of the Queens of Tir na nóg, and the daughter of Fand. On her magical horse, Embarr, she crossed the Western Sea to ask Fionn mac Cumhail if his son Oisín would come with her to Tír na nóg (the Land of Youth).

She is my first real familiar. I know, better late than never, right? She goes everywhere I go, sleeps with me, comes and touches me at least once an hour and never fails to bring me to laughter many times a day. In other words, she is the best medicine for me. that I have ever had. She could care less about anyone else, or for that matter any thing else. She has gotten used to the dogs, likes Chandler the huge monster of a cat, terrifies Princess Toadstool (that's a whole other posting) and has at least two rows with Uma, the other black goddess cat in the house, every day. The noise is scary but they both are just being "bitches". Niamh is sleek with amber colored eyes to Uma's long silky hair and green eyes. I keep telling them to not fight they are both pretty girls but when have cats ever listened to a human. I'm in love.

Joe's job with the County is back up again, readying for the primary elections in June. He was on furlough for 3 weeks. It was nice to have him home. He is such a patient person with our life. And also has turned the funny up as of late. He was here during most of Spring break.

The grands never fail to add spice to my life. Their spring break was a quiet one, both of them slept late and we messed around with crafting, cooking and just enjoying each others company. GK is going to the prom with her best friend/partner in crime Johnny in a week, RyLeigh will be 12 tomorrow. He and I had a fun time with math sleuthing and he is always asking questions about our family history in one form or another. Such a huge curious mind. Sitting around with no agenda just shooting the breeze with the two of them is one of my very favorite guilty pleasures. They will be grown up and out on their own soon enough so I just let the other things I should be doing just gather cobwebs and luxuriate in that moment. It's good for all of us.

Shelley continues to be the hardest worker in the family. I admire her grit. Besides working, carting the grands and their friends hither and yon, she has taken on another "duty". A friend of hers had eye surgery and needs to be shuttled to work, to the doctor, shopping etc. She and the grands are such good hearted friends. Makes me proud of who they all are.

Hope all of you are doing well. I miss hearing from so many of you whose blogs have gone silent. I loved the fun we've had in the past. Wish I could turn the clock back and appreciate that time more but then isn't that the way of life?

Smooches and Squoozes my lovelies,
Oma Linda

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cat report............

It is with sadness that I have to report that Mommy Joy is not a part of our household any longer. I was so bummed, but I had to take her back to Animal Humane.

After trying all of the therapies suggested by the behaviorists, keeping her secluded so that she could get acclimated, and trying to settle her down, she just was too feral to live in a busy household filled with children, dogs, cats and her own baby. She never let any of us handle her, or for that matter touch her.

Come to find out, that she and her 3 kittens had just come onto the floor at the rescue after their spaying surgeries about 20 minutes before I saw them. They were still woozy from the anesthesia and appeared to be much more docile than they were.

Mommy Joy was miserable here. When I returned her, I cried the entire way, like a lunatic. They looked up the circumstances of how they got her and oops, she wasn't an owner surrender but a feral catch. Duh. Mommy Joy will make a fabulous barn kitty, or with the right foster home maybe she would change her feral ways. I was so sad to have to make the decision but I know it was the best one for her and for Baby Bliss.

Baby Bliss sitting in the copper bar sink. She's high enough she can see all the other animals pass by. And is silly enough to think they don't see her. BB may stand for many other things by the time she gets grown. She's so sweet (to me).

BB is now part of the community of cats and dogs. She loves Joe and I and when she is in our room at night is a real kitten. She sleeps with me every night and entertains me at a little after 4 every morning. When she is out in the main part of the house during most of the day, (she does have nap time in my room for about an hour), she is getting closer every day to the other beasties and even flirts with giant cat Chandler who gives her all the space she needs but doesn't stay too far away. He's a good big brother. Uma tolerates her. Princess Pudgy pretends that she does not exist but I can't say I blame her because the one time Mommy Joy was introduced to any of the animals she had Pudgy slapped nineteen different ways and took huge chunks of beautiful long white hair off her back. So Pudgy has an absolute right to be standoffish with the "spawn of Joy".

The dogs follow her everywhere wanting to play like they do with the other cats but, of course, BB has no idea what they are up to. She gets on top of the kitty tower and watches them with a confused look on her cute little black kitty face.

She has the sweetest, tiniest little mew, is a huge adventure kitty with the household and has her entourage Chandler and Jameson at her beck and call at all times. Funny that the boys like her and know how to stay out of paws reach.

Time will give them all a chance to learn to get along. Fingers crossed.

xoxo Oma Linda

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I won't apologize..................

I've spent a lifetime apologizing for things I have done, I haven't done, I forgot to do, I never knew I was to get done and for not being who others expected me to be. I am a dyed in the wool people pleaser.

I have in the past few weeks since my "episode" kept rather quiet and walked on egg shells, as they say, so as to not upset anyone or anything. It is very tedious work and I'm only adding to my burden of self-doubt by not speaking up or holding back when I should just say what I am feeling. Gawd, life is a hard one to travel correctly.

But then what exactly is correct? What is good for one is hell for another. I hope I am making sense. I'd hate to confuse yet another person. You see, I'm very good at that as well. I think. I speak., I sometimes have not thought through the complete result of how my words will be received. I say one thing and yet I'm really thinking something close to that thought but "no cigar".

I hurt some of you with my declaration of "I'm done". I never meant I wanted to die, I meant, I can't go on doing the same thing in my life over and over and not being understood, respected, listened to. I was running away. I really was. I was going.................I don't know where, but away for awhile so that I could get my thoughts all lined up and my words in the correct order so that I could tell those people that I live with and love just how I felt so that they could stop making me feel less than I should be made to feel.

I won't apologize for being really me because it's taken me more than 50 years to reach a spot in time when I feel I can be, should be, deserve to be. Now if I could just get the wording down so I don't scare the hell outta folks.

xoxo Oma Linda

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ah yes, February the twoth...................

Rodent watching day, Imbolc and the day I made up decorations just so I could say nanny, nanny boo boo to my husband.

Through 40 something years of being married, Joe and I have has several bouts of one up person ship. Sometimes our stubbornness knows no end. Of course each of us says it's the other who is more stubborn but if push comes to shove, which in our case, it never has, I'd have to say I will stick with something longer than he. He would tell you it's because he forgets easily. Whatever the case is. I won or at least I thought I did.

When we first married, lo those many Novembers ago, I told him that he would never have to buy me an anniversary present if he would just let me put up the Christmas tree whenever I wanted to. (Yep, I actually let him off the hook for presents which was the smartest thing I ever did. Considering all my friends and their tiffs about who forgot what and when, I think I did okay for myself.) Of course I must add that did not include no birthday, Christmas or Valentine's day gift which he has never gotten me either. But with that fact in mind, I have been known to decorate with a tree for Snowman day, Valentine's, Luck of the Irish, Fuzzy chicks and bunnies, birthdays, faeries, fourth of July, mermaids and beachy things, Sunflowers, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving. gnomes, Christmas and New Year's. Now these are not to be confused with my altar which is only changes 8 times a year.

Back when our marriage was only half as old as it is now, Joe had a boss who was an even bigger smart ass than either Joe or I. He remarked to Joe after knowing us for a few years that he had never seen a house that had as much "holiday crap" as ours. He went on to say that he bet that we even decorated for Groundhog's day. Joe assured him that he had never seen that one at our house, but because said smart ass was coming over to take us to dinner on February the Twoth, I decorated a tree with stumps and rodents which sorta looked like a cross between groundhogs and prairie dogs along with little snowy thingies and some spring bulb paths. And the topper was exactly that...............a top hat.

I thought that Joe and Jim were going to laugh their asses off when they came into the living room and there was my newest tree the February the twoth tree. I got um both.

When Joe woke up this morning he rolled over and said, "Hey cutie, gonna make some more little varmits to decorate the tree this year?"

I thought the idea of our couples therapy was to say something sweet and nice each day, not make me giggle so bad I wet my jammie bottoms.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's new Linda???????????/

Well let's see, because of last weekend's trip to the hospital, it was difficult to adopt the kittens from Animal Humane. I really had to do a song and dance. Funny thing is they didn't have any harsh judgement of my angry outburst but we will have to have visitations to see how we all are doing for three months. The cats are very shy and it is going very slowly with them. Bliss, the baby has warmed up to me and sleeps on my chest. Mama Joy secretly has a crush on Joe and sleeps right next to his feet. It is quite an interesting sleeping situation.

I have a record for dog bite case (no I didn't bite a dog, many years ago our St. Bernard bit a woman who walked in unannounced and scared all the dogs and people at my friend Verna's place. Murphy thought that she was attacking all of us and the St Bernard puppies that Verna had just acquired and he did what he thought he had to do). That along with the Humiliation on a plate of shut the hell up Linda last week will also be around to haunt me forever. That has taught me to keep my big mouth shut (unless speaking to a counselor) and announce to my family when I am pissed and need some space that I will be coming back when I get back.

It's been hard to form sentences, or thoughts since then. First I was embarrassed and ashamed, then I was irked and annoyed and now, well I'm stewing in my own juices. I am the cause of my own feelings with a side order of other things thrown in.

I don't blame anyone who took my "cry for help" seriously, as a matter of fact I am humbled.

I made a mistake. I said what I was thinking which has always gotten me into trouble but I am still an adult, and I can manage to not drool on myself, wipe my own bottom and apologize when I have gone around the bend. I am truly sorry for hurting anyone else but I am the most sorry for hurting me. Making me feel ever stupider than I needed to.

I will never feel clean again after being in the back of a squad car and the looney bin. That's my problem. I will need to get over all of this on my own. Luckily the one person with whom I was the angriest and I have made amends with each other. Joe has been very kind to me and does understand. The rest of the world will need to give me some time to get my shit all in one pile again. I make no guarantees that I will ever be the same and hoping in many ways that I will not be ever again.

The kittens, I have since realized, are feral. They may have been "surrendered by the owner" but I think the owner was probably an apartment manager or some such that found them and took them to the Animal Humane. This only means a little longer to socialize them. We made the mistake of trying to introduce the most docile of our other cats and YIKES. Momma Joy was gonna kick some serious kitty butt. So for now they live in our bedroom and the rest of the house belongs to the others. Nothing like a new set of circumstances to take your mind off of yourself.

Smooches and Squoozes,
Oma Linda

Saturday, January 23, 2016

When you peel the layers of the onion back and find out there is a hidden kumquat inside.........................

or something like that.

I've spent most of my life playing referee to person tennis. You know the person who is in charge of keeping the peace between rival gangs of family members. And the rest of my life being the one in the middle of the circle with everyone else being disgusted with my calls of the ball being out, or someone being out of control.

I have made happiness and being okay my main occupation. The pay sometimes has been pretty good but for the most part it has been slim pickin's. I have been happy on the outside and rotting on the inside.

In our family, I was raised to keep the bad things in our lives inside home and never let on that anything was wrong or less than perfect. When my parents died, I let the icky goo start oozing out of the cracks of my personality. The icky goo is toxic and eats away at the outside happiness to such an extent that there were huge holes with my bare self starting to lay open to view. As hard as I tried to mend those holes they became wider, deeper and more open.

That's how last weeks breakdown finally happened. I couldn't keep all the balls in the air, the secrets in check, my happiness surrounds broke down completely and I just couldn't take it anymore.

Funny how once the dam breaks, there are no means to keep all the icky goo from covering everything.

My husband, daughter and grands all are okay. I don't think they will ever really trust that it won't happen again, and I can't blame them. But they all understood the reasons why. They love me, broken or whole.

I burdened some FB friends with the statement that I had just had it and couldn't go on. That wasn't fair to them to put that pressure on them. Some of them called the police here because they felt my cry for help and with no great effort I was taken into custody (in front of a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shop) with Cherries Jubilee on my breath. I stayed in a mental health lock down for several hours until the medicos were satisfied that I had just blown a circuit not the whole brain and needed to talk to someone about my icky goo.

So for the past week, I have endeavored to learn how to live down the humiliation I caused myself, apologize for my behavior and try to find a therapist that will take my insurance. I haven't talked much because....there isn't much to say. I haven't done much because...nothing sounds interesting. But I did something good for me.

Momma Joy is the one in the front. Baby Bliss is behind.

They always are together.
I went to Animal Humane, and adopted a Momma cat I named Joy and her one remaining kitten, who I named Bliss. They need me. They need my loving attention and soft voice and easy approach to get them to be comfortable in their new surroundings. The other animals in the house need my reassurance that they are still important and loved by me. I'm standing in a circle that I can handle right now.


Princess Chubs

Uma (queen of the castle)

Most of you will forgive my humanity and flaws, some of you will think how stupid it is for me to post about this and yes there are those of you who have been waiting for this icky goo to finally do me in, but you lose, this has only made me sharper and more aware that your kind lose everytime. Thanks for being my lovelies.

So, friends, I am only 1 cat short of a crazy lady six pack.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Planning what to do next.............................

Nope this will not be the giveaway post because I've had no time to invent, construct, or create anything to give away. I've been otherwise engaged in planning how to deal with yet another Ernie and Bert cooperation endeavor.

If you are not familiar with Sesame Street and the cuties of Ernie and Bert. This is how we settle problems at our house......for reals.
Here's the clip:

When my parents had this house built back in the early 60's, my Dad, true to his nature to be the cheapest man on the face of the planet, cut corners on all items. The worst example is the back porch cover. Instead of having the builder do the porch......he had someone who didn't have the foggiest idea in hell just slap that mess onto the back of the house. It has always leaked. It has always had electrical problems and with the recent blizzard and cold temps it has begun to buckle and bow. I guess I am just as guilty putting off the inevitable for so many years.

So we have to finish the garage redo (in colder than hell temps) in order to save the backporch furniure. The old spanish style patio couch, the 104 year old porch swing, my red and dotty collection of mess and the new planting table. So that all these items don't have to stand out in the weather as we deconstruct the leaking, leaning and gross mess hanging over our heads. I've had nightmares about letting the dogs out to go potty and all of us going squish.

So the garage move around, the backporch move around, the deconstruct, the hauling off of the deconstruct, the measuring and figuring out how much wood, metal roofing and paint we will need, and while we have the whole patio cleaned off we can treat the concrete so we can stain it too and the safety of everyone as we put the dogs out the side of the house and walk halfway around the house to have them go potty are all major issues at this point in time.

We are gonna be having so much fun. At least our fish are still in their fish tank and Sweet Man still has his cowboy hat to use when he plays cowboy. Hehehehehehehehe. Can you tell I'm Ernie and the rest of the family are all Berts????

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

La Befana and all the other things going on.............

The grands are back in school. I'm always a little sad and a little relieved on days like this. This holiday break was like most winter breaks only this time we had snow that stayed and stayed. And the temps have been colder than usual. So, we spent most of our days sleeping late and staying warm. Not bad work if you can get it.

Our New Year's ritual afforded us the opportunity to open up a dialog to clear the air in our intra family communications. Always a great way to start the new year. And this time we must have all been holding our mouths just right because there was no irk, ire or much irritation that came up from our 5 way conversation. I kinda feel sorry for the fellas most years because they just sit through the event and say very little but both of them had "things" to discuss and it made for a great talk.

I must say that I am still surprised at how unlike me, emotionally, my family is and in the same breath how "Pete and Repeat" they are as well. As I have said in the past, we don't hide the crazy in our family. We offer it a drink, take it on the front porch and let the world see us, as is. I think that's healthy, but then look who's putting the stamp of approval on sane. Bwahahahaha.

Shelley was awarded her company's Got Getter award at their holiday party. She was so proud and pleased as were we. She also got a substantial raise in pay (that is always nice as well). This must be the year of The Scales though because the very next day, she saw her old employer and he bitched her out about what a traitor she is and how she tried to undermine him and ................ When she was telling me I had no words. That was 8 months ago dude, shut up. But I believe it has allowed her to shut the door and lock that sucker on the past employment foreva.

GK and her friends have had a great time talking until forever in the a.m. during break and I'm sure it was hard for her to get up today at o'dark thirty to get ready for school. She learned some valuable people lessons during the break though. I wouldn't be a teenager today for any amount of money. So hard, so ruthless, so ugly. But on the other side of those scales is the truth that good friends don't come along every day and treasuring the ones you have is a job worth working at.

GK also had a house sitting job which brought her some spending money. Just before Halloween we found a precious tortoiseshell kitten in our front yard. GK instantly fell in love (as she does) with this beastie. She found where the kitten lived and took Andy home. Well Andy likes the attention she gets from all of us so much that about twice a day she comes to visit. GK took care of Andy's Dad's house and Andy for two weeks. Good experience for her to be resonsible for someone else's things. She reminded me of a guard dog on alert.

Ry is such a love. His people and communication skills are astounding in rapid growth right now. I used to say to Shelley, I just wish he could be a "real boy". You know, with friends and feelings and attitude. Be careful what you wish for Oma. He is for sure a "real 6th grade boy", stinky, snarky, charming and engaging. He has a friend with whom he spends the night and they are 1000% deserving of each other's company. They remind me very much of Shelton and Leonard on Big Bang Theory. Ry made good use of his break and conquered many worlds in which he dissolves into in gaming. He also shared some of those games with GK. I left them to the bickering and jibbing but did enjoy the time they spent together from afar.

My Sweet Man is miserable in his new job. That's all I can say. Somehow he will find his way to a new one or conform to doing nothing. He's not good at that. This job is a lot of  sitting and doing nothing.

And now to the woman whose word for this year is Live. Sorta like asking for patience and then getting a healthy dose of situations where one is required to be patient. I have fallen twice since Christmas. I suppose my colors for 2016 are the retro black, blue and purple of years gone by. My knees are a mess and my left side is not working properly but I'm living the dream ya'll in that I'm living without broken bones, just bruising. So if I extrapolate the current theory that the year of The Scales will balance years end maybe I'll be more sure footed. Fingers cross. It's probably because I haven't been getting to the gym and my musculature is not flexible. Did that convince you?

Now to La Befana. If you don't know in Italy she is the gift giver at this time of year more so than Santa Claus. Her story (many, many versions) goes Befana put up the Wise Men at her place while they were looking for the Christ Child. When they left she put all of her recently deceased infant son's belongings into a sack and followed the star and also came upon the Christ Child in a lowly manger. She gave the child her son's things and has continued to gift children on the evening of Epiphany since then. She gives fruit and candy. She knows all children are both good and bad and so leaves "carbone" a black candy that looks like coal as well as the wonderful good sweets and fruit.

The grands read about her and found the young mother's aging into the old crone because of grief image of Befana intriguing. We have incorporated her into our winter celebrations. So tonight they will don their crone masks and leave fruit and candy for chosen neighbor children front porches. It's kinda a play on a "pay it forward" but it sure is fun to see them all bundled up and taking a basket of goodies to other kids and them getting such a kick out of it.

BTW this is my 1000th post on this blog. Perhaps a witchy give away for my 1001 post is in order. Hmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The quiet time of the year...............

I know the older I get the more the time between Christmas and New Year's Eve takes on a remembering kind of flavor. Most of the time stirring up some "best forgotten" times. I tend to lean towards melancholia more rapidly at this time of year.

This year I've pondered what my word of the year might be. The other night we did tarot and tea. Shelley, GK and I all had spotty results (pun intended) with the Santa tea pot and cup set, but the tarot could not have been more spot on for the three of us. GK's focused on friendship and love. Shelley's on goals and looking at things more insightfully, mine leaving the past to tend to itself and the present to unfold and the future to treasure.

Then we drew one card and mine was the devil. I was so thrilled I whooped and hollared. Scared the beejesus out of the cat's and SM came in to see what was going on. For far too long, I have tried to live a controlled life so that I kept all the oars in the water in sync, as they say. But the wild, willful, wacky and wonderful me has been repressed for far too long.

After the health scare of the last year, the depression of the last few years and the horrible holding of grudges against my family members for allowing things to happen to me as a child for most of the last decade, I needed to do a good space clearing of my mind. When I turned over the devil, I knew that the next chapter of my life had begun and I am looking forward with a new set of hopes and dreams.

And this last week watching all the quiet snow fall gave me pause to contemplate the word that would sum up my new found attitude. It was so very simple when it came right down to choosing.......LIVE. I choose to live life, not let one more moment be wasted in negative thoughts, self doubt, or anything that will rob me of one more second, letting life run me instead of me living life.

I hope that whatever epiphanies come your way knock your socks off. I hope any resolutions you make are the kind that can be achieved and I hope you spend the next part of your the fullest.
Much love,
      Happy New Year,
           Smooches and Squoozes,

                   Oma Linda

Friday, December 25, 2015

Finally, it's over already.....................

lookie, Mommy's the shortest.
It's not that I don't love the presents, the special food, the time spent with family & friends, it just that I am like my grands.........I have so little patience when it comes to some impending event that it is always a relief when the stress is gone. I used to view it as "let down" but not anymore. I'm just a happy camper that that bit is done and we can move on.

looks like an eye sharing down at us all
Christmas eve at the Cuckoos was a fun affair. We had red and green chili, pinto beans and green chili chicken and red chili beef tamales, with homemade biscochitos for supper. Then we hit the road to see the farolitos and lumiarias (trying to stay PC with my New Mexico homies by not calling them one or the other but both). We opted out of the usual Country Club and Old Town tours and cut out like the rebels we are in search of new and different.

obviously a UNM Lobo fan

There is a great little enclave of adobe houses off of Old Coors Blvd, deep in the South Valley and the neighborhood association opted out of the famous City Bus tours. So that's where we went. It is so magickal and quiet. Peaceful and gives you a sense of awe. No Christmas lights, just candles in sand inside brown paper bags. With the charm of the full moon, it was an awesome show of beauty.

Then not too far from home is a neighborhood that has had tons of lights ever since I was a kid, back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. This is the best lighted house of the bunch.

live Santa on the rooftop on the right throwing candy canes to the kids
Here is Casa de Cuckoo, simple not too overstated, I think.

The gnomes who greet our visitors
The grands were not up too early and we had a very subdued present opening, with not a budget breaking array of I love you presents. GK now knows she is a grown up because she got underwear for Christmas, but is was Victoria Secret. Ry got more DS games and Papa got a cool T shirt and a Kindle Fire. I was gifted with Wizard of Oz thingies and Shelley got jewelry and a pretty mirrored jewelry box. No national debt holidays for the Cuckoos but so much more than we even needed.

This has been a holiday of new recipes and new ways to celebrate. Last night was my Hispanic heritage foods, this morning it was my southern roots. We had biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs. Tonight Christmas dinner will be a standing crown roast, twice backed potato casserole, broccoli pea casserole and southern Jam Cake. That's for the Irish, Scottish and English parts of my heritage. RyLeigh said he was glad that it was "free range" lunch, where everyone would feed themselves, because he could make it All American by eating hot dogs. Gotta give it to him, he does have a point.

Merry Christmas my friends, hope the holiday season only brings good things and happiness.

xoxo Oma Linda

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Don't cry over spilled milk................

A long, long time ago (back before the very first Star Wars film had been made) in a Piggly Wiggly parking lot not far from our very first house, a wondrous thing came to pass during this time of year.

We were on a very tight budget. I mean down to the pennies before pay day and it was the Friday before the Monday that was pay day. Sweet Man had gotten the change from our "oh holy shit" jar because that's all the money we would have until pay day. We were out of milk. Shelley had a little girl spending the night and we had stopped by the grocery store on our way back from picking her friend up to buy the milk.

Of course being a few nights before Christmas, the store was packed. The girls and I waited for what seemed like forever. Then we saw Sweet Man exiting the front door, trip and drop the milk on the pavement which exploded everywhere. His face looked like he was going to cry. He hadn't fallen, just tripped. It wasn't his fault, it was "just what it was" but it meant that the girls would have to go without. Not a tragedy but sad state of affairs.

He started for the car, when a lady he had been talking to in line handed him something. It was a $5 bill. He started to give it back to her but she refused it and wished him a Merry Christmas.

He came over to the car with tears in his eyes. He said they had been talking with her about money being tight and he told her, just as a matter of conversation, about my crazy "oh holy shit" jar. She laughed and shared a story about not having stockings for some visitors she had had for Christmas a long time before and her sewing a toe and heel of calico on a feed sack for them for a stocking. And they filled the stockings with nuts from their trees, apples from the larder and oranges that she traded a neighbor for by doing some mending, along with the only extravagance, home made fudge.

She told him he might not think so but these were the good times of our lives.

When she saw that the milk had been spilled she gave him a pay it forward that we will never forget. I have no idea her name but I will never forget the kindness she shared. And she was right, those were the very best of times. That was when we didn't feel obligated to gift because we didn't have the money to do so. And did without a lot because well "it was just what it was".

I always have said to Sweet Man, when I start telling the spilled milk story, just let me, because it is such a beautiful gift given for no other reason than it was loving kindness. He smiles every time and then  those tears, not cried over the spilled milk, flow from both of us in gratitude and a well loved memory.

Blessings dear ones,
xoxo Oma Linda

Monday, December 21, 2015

And the wheel keeps turning................

As a small child, I had a overwhelming feeling about the charting of the sun and moon and their miraculous cycles. I was much more interested in the celestial happenings than many of my classmates. I always wanted to know the whys of the sky.

I got a book called "The How and Why book of the Sky" when I was 10 and have been a right lunatic ever since.

So for me the eclipses, the falling stars of winter and summer, the cycle of Mother Moon and the changing of the seasons are not just mere happenings but old friends seen with child like wonder, still.

The solstices, equinoxes, the celebrations of the wheel of the year are my course and hope. I have passed that love and respect to my daughter and the grands and shared it with Sweet Man for over 40 years. And I must say that the observance of the Winter Solstice has to be one of my 8 favorites. Cheeky old broad, since there are only 8 ritual celebrations on the wheel, 13 moons, 4 seasons and lots of surprises from Mother Nature in all and everyone of the passages of time.

Last night ( a night early) we gathered round our mini bonfire to tribe ourselves with Nature. I love what my grands bring to the ceremony. I never had that opportunity as a child because I was raised in a traditional family whose observance of holidays was dictated by a church not nature. RyLeigh loves ritual, of course he does, he is after all my birthday twin. Gerea always has an artist's eye and animal lovers heart and brings that to the circle. Shelley has a practical yet romantic bent to her additions. Joe always adds a quiet elegance to his observance of the turning of the wheel. And me, oh I'm the bossy old broad and head village idiot and serve as the moderator of the wisdom passed along.

The very cold winter night's sky gave us the blessing of twinkling stars, the moon's almost full light (don't forget that Christmas Eve is the full moon) and a bright and cheer filled time to spend just enjoying nothing but the firelight, each other and our relationship with everything. Stardust is a part of all of us and we rejoiced.

As you can see, the gnomes, elves and fae have invaded our home in our decorations for the season.

Yule Blessings, Merry Solstice, Happy Christmas and Feliz Navidad my lovelies. Pray for Peace and Goodwill towards all that surrounds us.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like.......................

we've finally got some holiday spirit.

Got the tree put up two weeks ornaments just a sad empty tree. None of us had the get up and to to do anything with it. Well not the humans. The animals however had time to clean their teeth on the branches and sleep under the boughs in the winter sunshine. So it wasn't a total loss.
We still had our orange Halloween lights coming on every night with the aid of a timer so we had the neighbors faked out. At the least the older, not very observant ones. Our next door neighbor last week end remarked as he put out his "drippy lights", oh I'm sorry I think the correct term is icicle lights, that he was the last to put up lights as usual. He said to Joe that we had really been early birds. Joe laughed and told him no, that the lights were from Halloween. Orange is orange people. It's not red. Sheesh.

But that situation was rectified yesterday. It was cloudy, windy and the three witches set out to do what every good squad of intrepid women with a mission do.....get it done. We put up multi colored, old school, lights outside outlining the house. Brought Mr. Sandy Drawers (what Shelley called Santa Claus when she was little) out and let him shine his happy face for all to see, put out the gnome band that the grands have bought me little by little for the past few years and set up the tomato cage Christmas trees on each side of the gate. No pictures yet but I promise I'll get some tonight when it's dark and wonderful.

Just before we came inside, Bob, the bestest postal carrier in da world, evaluated our work, gave us excellent on our work efforts and dropped off a box from She Who Seeks. We closed up the garage and came inside because we were frozenated.

RyLeigh who was way too busy with his mastery of the X box to be outside in the cold saw the box with Debra's name on it and said, "Hey, this is that cool lady from Canada that makes us laugh, She Who Speaks". Bahahahahaha. Debra, I think he has you pegged. But the fact that he knew who you were by just your name on the box blew me away. Once we opened the contents, it was like a feeding frenzy in the lion's cage at the zoo. The ornaments immediately went onto the naked tree, the kettle was put on and yummy hot cocoa was had by all the Cuckoos. Ms. Debra, you kicked off our holiday celebration for sure. But the very best part of your gifties was the remark made by Ms. G at the sight of the tea towels. "Well we all know that these are mine to dry the dishes, which I don't do like I should so yes I will take these and make good use of them." So thanks for also being the "reminder" to a sweet but remiss young lady even if that wasn't your intent.

Ms Uma peeking from behind

Ms. Ellie Mae caught on the furniture
So we put the beautiful box under the naked tree and went about fixing some dinner. When Joe called us from the living room to come and see. I thought one of the cats had taken up residence on the box was snowing. Big fat, wonderful flakes. What a perfect stamp of approval the snow was.

backyard shed with the march of the fae

blue glass tree and dish garden (just barely)

front gates from the inside
poor Santa lump in the front yard
It snowed all night long. The lights were beautiful reflecting off of the new snow. We have three ornaments on our tree, a friendship present to us all from a friend far, far away and each other. I think that we will all remember what the holidays really are about in a whole new way. Sparkle on snow.

Happy Holidays from the Cuckoos Nest.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

yes he did............

Ry is doing a science fair project......okay so it is a repeat of his sister's project but she tortured a watermelon and it bled, he on the other hand tortured a pumpkin and it blew it's top. Same Newton law, number 3, different fruit guts................................

Science, scmience.............he had a great time.